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TNH 57/900 End of the line


Mig Eater

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I will joining the GB with a 1/35 resin kit of the TNH 57/900 from StahlhelmModels. Designed in 1949 the TNH 57/900 was the last project from CKD-Škoda based on the TNH/38(t) design, they were hoping that it would attract export sales like the original TNH tank had before the war but no one was interested & none were built.

 

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The kit comes with metal barrels, plastic link & length tracks taken from some other kit, but most of it is resin & needs a lot of clean up (pic from their website).

 

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I'm currently finishing up a build, once I'm done I'll unpack this kit & get some photo of the parts.

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I've removed all the resin parts from their casting blocks & clean them up, a quick test fit of a few parts shows I'll need to do a lot more sanding to get everything to fit tho.

 

I found that I'm missing a few parts, the leaf spring suspension arms & a frame for the engine grill. I have a 3D model of a 38(t) so I can just 3D print the suspension parts I need. As for the grill frame its a simple part so I can design & print a replacement of or maybe use some PE mesh instead.  

 

I'm curious where the tracks & sprockets came from so if you recognize them do tell.

 

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Edited by Mig Eater
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I've 3D printed the missing leaf spring suspension parts, the 3D model I have was made by the same person that made the master for this kit & luckily he used the same parts on both models so the 3D printed parts fit perfectly with this kit. There was also a few air bubbles in the resin so I filled them with a bit of Milliput.

 

My mind started to wonder to possible paint schemes, by default I had just planed to paint it as a Czech tank. However the TNH 57/900 was designed for the export market though, which opens up lots of "what-if" options. The most obvious countries would be ones that already have the TNH/38(t) platform, Switzerland comes to mind as they were buying G-13/Hetzer tanks, any thoughts/suggestions?ons?

 

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Edited by Mig Eater
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Never heard of this 'What if' variant before so will watch with interest!

 

33 minutes ago, Mig Eater said:

The most obvious countries would be ones that already have the TNH/38(t) platform, Switzerland comes to mind as they were buying G-13/Hetzer tanks, any thoughts/suggestions?

 

I think you're right that the Swiss would be the best 'historical accuracy' bet if you're looking for other operators; as you say they were buying the G-13s post war so had that established relationship with Skoda. Based on the 1949 design year I think that year was when the last batch of G-13s were delivered to Switzerland; I'd assume this design was a last attempt by Skoda to keep the existing production line going rather than retool for an entirely new design?

In terms of potential paint scheme sadly I think the Swiss had gone to an all over Grey/green (it's complicated!) after the Second World war; however this is a 'What if' so they could of course have decided to revive their older, more colourful, schemes (example photos on Wikipedia linked below) for the new tank!

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/63/Panzerwagen_39_'PRAGA'.jpg/1280px-Panzerwagen_39_'PRAGA'.jpg

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Panzerwagen_39_Praga_-_Steel_Parade_2006_crop.jpg

 

I think the other operators of the platform were the Swedes, the Iranians and Peru; by the post war period the last two were being offered plenty of US surplus so probably wouldn't have been interested. The Swedes may have been interested (after all, they continued operating their Pansarbandvagn 301 variant of the platform into the 1970's) but they were manufacturing their own tanks so are probably less likely than the Swiss.

 

If you want to go a bit further afield Czechosolvakia were selling plenty of arms in the Middle East in the 1950's, e.g.  the Syrians bought old Panzer IV's from them, so if these had made it into manufacture you could imagine some in the Golan Heights or the Sinai in the Six Day War.

Lots of options out there; it's a 'What If' so of course history is just a guide!

 

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Yes I really like that Swiss winter camo so that's definitely an option, but I might want to keep that for if/when I make a Panzer 39 model in the future. AFAIK Iranian TNH tanks were painted khaki green and the same goes for Syrian tanks too, so not very interesting IMO. Peruvian TNH tanks used the original Czech three colour camo from the factory & then repainted them green sometime after WW2. I was originally planing to use the three colour camo if I make it a Czech tank anyway so it wouldn't be any different  

 

Sweden actually designed there own upgraded version of the TNH (or Strv m/41 as they called it) in 1943 that is very similar to the TNH 57/900, development was canceled in favor of the newer Strv m/42 tho & only scale models were built. I would love to make one of these as some point too, it would fit in nicely next to the TNH 57/900 😛

 

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Edited by Mig Eater
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More variants! Are you planning on building the whole family of vehicles, including various 'What ifs'?


I shall look forward to seeing which operator and what scheme you go for with this one!

Just for interest the link below is a photo of an ST-I variant in post war Czechoslovakian service which looks like it's in a different pattern to the original three colour camo (which I've now noticed is the same as the Swiss Summer camo so I presume their LTH Panzer 39's got shipped in the Czech camo like the Peruvian ones...) so there may be some scope for different camo if none of the existing ones grab you (and I presume there's the option of going for a 'What if' Camo as well as a 'What if' model is there too...).

https://www.valka.cz/files/x_hetzer1_810.jpg

 

9 hours ago, Mig Eater said:

if/when I make a Panzer 39 model in the future

 

Hmm, might be I've got a kit earmarked for conversion to that particular model too!

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I'm mostly interested in the obscure variants, prototypes & paper projects, the mass produced versions aren't as interesting to me 😋

For example I made this post-war Czech proposal to fit the ST-I with a short 15cm gun (know by its document number Zb-16050-P). It's been sitting on the shelf of doom for awhile waiting for some tracks, I might try to finish it along with this build & paint them together.

 

0iq54.jpeg

 

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I'm slowing making some progress, making a mess with resin dust & shavings everywhere! The upper & lower hull halves are now glued together, I then enlarged the weld seams & scribed some missing ones in preparation for adding weld detail with green stuff.

 

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I had to enlarge all the holes for the wheels & suspension parts to make them to fit together, while I was doing this I accidentally drilled right though one of the wheels 😅 I'll try to fix it with some Milliput, but I was thinking I could also completely remove the central hub & add it to the rear of the hull as a spare..?

 

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I was checking the blueprints (in the first post) & I noticed that the tank is fitted with original TNH/38(t) sprockets & tracks, the ones that came with the kit are the larger ones used on the Hetzer tho 😕 Well I fired up the 3D printer again & made some new sprockets & a load of tracks. The tracks connect together with some 0.4mm wire as pins, I need to drill out both side of all 200 tracks first tho, so that should keep me busy for awhile! On the plus side I now have some spare Hetzer tracks for the one I was building above 😛

 

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Edited by Mig Eater
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1 hour ago, Mig Eater said:

I could also completely remove the central hub & add it to the rear of the hull as a spare..?

Tankers tended to use things like that as extra appliqué armour rather than spares, particularly sherman crews who used anything and everything to reinforce their armour.

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The Swedish mounted spare wheels onto the engine deck of their 38(t) tanks, I might try it out & see how it looks on the TNH 57/900. AFAIK this is something only the Swedish did, I couldn't find any photos of other 38(t) tanks with spare wheels.

 

stridsvagn-strv-m41-swedish-tank-rear.jp

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I've made some good progress with the build.

 

The 3D printed tracks were a pain to build, but it was mostly my fault. The first batch of prints the program that I used put them to close together on the build plate resulting in a lot of them getting stuck together & failing 😩 For the second batch I manually arranged the tracks but then I didn't fully cure them after the print resulting in the tracks being very fragile & most of them braking during construction. Finally third time lucky I didn't have any issues & put together the 198 tracks (99 per side) I needed. With that said it was very satisfying to design, print & build the tracks myself. Especially when it only cost me €1 in 3D printer resin, compared to the €30 it would cost for a set of AM ones 😋  

 

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I applied some Mr. Surfacer to add some armour texture to the very smooth resin hull. Weld seam detail was added with green stuff putty which was a big improvement over the simple panel lines the kit had. After that the rest of the kit went together very quickly without much issue. I added a few extra parts such as a lamp from the spare box & some wire to power it. The kit comes with a radio antena mount but no actual antena, so I fitted a brass one from RB models (see in pics below).

 

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The only really difficult part was the exhausts which didn't fit because the main pipe was about 1mm to short to fit into their locating hole, in the end I had to trim a bit off the end of the pipes to make it fit. I also drilled out the (other) ends of the exhausts as they only had a shallow hole. I still need to fill a few gaps around the engine deck & find/3D print some mesh to go over the engine grill. 

 

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The turret already has some cast texture but as I had the Mr. Surfacer so out I added a bit more. The front of the turret goes from a round curve to protruding box, it looks like it would have been a separate part IMO so I added a weld seam around it. I also added a handle to the hatch with some wire & some lifting loops to the turret's roof, which would have been a necessary feature as the only was to access the tank's transmission would be to remove the turret.  

 

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With that the build is nearly done, just the few bits with then engine deck that I mentioned above & maybe adding some spare tracks or a rolled up tarp as stowage etc. Due to circumstances I wont be able to start painting this build until next month, in the mean time I might start a second build for the GB. I haven't decided on what yet but it will probably be another obscure prototype or paper proposal 😋

 

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  • 1 month later...

I finally finished doing the last few bits for this build, filling some gaps around the rear of the hull & also 3D printing some mesh to go over the engine grill. With that I can start painting, I've decided on the colours I want to use but I cant make up my mind on the scheme; blotches, squiggles, stripes, splinter etc 😅 Any thoughts?   

tnh57_13.jpg

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I finally added some colour to the tank, in the end I went with a paint scheme similar to the one used on late/post-war Hetzers/ST-1. I painted highlights on raised parts, small light coloured & rusty paint chips/scratches. The exhausts were painted with several different shades of grey & white, in preparation for some rust washes later. Decals were added from an Archer set for Czech T-34 tanks, this was my first time using dry transfers & it was a bit tricky to get them positioned correctly. Everything was then sealed with some gloss varnish in preparation for the next step of filters & washes.    

 

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I also painted the wheels & sprockets to match the hull. The tracks were also paint with a dark brown primer & then mottled with several dark grey colours.

 

tnh57_17.jpg

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So a bit of a disaster! You remember at the beginning of the build when I was cleaning up the resin parts I damaged two of the wheels & to fix it I 3D printed some replacements? Well just as I'm finishing the last bit of weathering on the build I noticed that the wheels I printed are a different size to the rest of the wheels that came with the kit. The ones I printed were for the Panzer 38(t) but the wheels that came with the kit are the larger ones for the Hetzer. So not only did the kit incorrectly come with Hezter tracks it also has Hetzer wheels 🥴 I cant be bothered to print & paint a whole new set of wheels so I'm just going to replace the two Panzer 38(t) wheels with new Hetzer wheels, so they will at least all match.

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Not ideal but I think as long as all the road wheels are the same you'll be fine.

 

I think I read somewhere that the Hetzer tracks and wheels were taken from an updated version of the Panzer 38(t) that was built as a prototype but not taken any further (TNH NA?)? Outside my knowledge now but could the TNH 57/900 have been a further development of that earlier updated version rather than the original Panzer 38(t) which would mean it would have used the same wheels and tracks as the Hetzer? It's a What if of course so you (and the kit manufacturer) get some leeway!

Paint scheme is looking really good, like what you've done on the exhaust, should look fantastic with some rust effects!

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Yes the TNH 57/900 was based on the Panzer 38(t) n.A, in fact CKD started to modify one of the n.A prototypes into the TNH 57 but it was canceled before they could finish.

 

I checked the TNH 57 diagram (in the first post) & the wheel size is the same as the Hetzer (82cm), it's using the smaller Panzer 38(t) tracks & sprockets tho, which made me presume the wheels were the smaller ones too. Well that teaches me that I need to double check every part of a kit before I start printing replacements.

 

  

Edited by Mig Eater
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Measure twice, print once?

 

On the plus side you hadn't replaced all the road wheels so you only had the two replacements to do in order to end up with something that matches the diagram spot on. I guess the advantage of 3D printing is that you can print off another; as frustrating as it must be to have to repaint etc.


By the way, I've just been re-reading this build and have got to say I really rather like the Baby Brummbar look of the below!

 

On 09/07/2023 at 05:56, Mig Eater said:

 

photo_shkh_01.jpg

 

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I've been slowly working on that Hetzer on the side during this GB. I fitted it with the tracks that were leftover from the TNH 57 kit, I needed to print some new sprockets for the tracks to fit but its good to finally make some progress with the build after so long. There are a few more small details that I need to scratch build, once they are done tho it will be ready for paint. I'll post more photos of this build in the Ready for Inspection forum once it's finished.

 

 

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Edited by Mig Eater
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After a last minute setback I finally finished this little tank. It was a fun & simple build that allowed my to try out several new tools & techniques. This is also my first Panzer 38 tank build, it will soon to be joined by several more tho...

 

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